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29 November 2016 @ 08:31 pm
Co-Owner of a Lonely Heart/Brave-ish Heart  
Co-Owner of a Lonely Heart and Brave-ish Heart lack the compactness and clear focus of the preceding two episodes. This allows them to attempt a structurally more complex story but I'm not sure that entirely works in their favour.

The two menaces - the Shadowkin and the Blossom seem to interconnect in only the most superficial fashion and where, up until now, the show has ably used the menaces it introduces to dovetail with the emotional dramas of its cast, the Blossom are a less thematically rich problem. The emotional heart of this episode is with April, Ram and the Shadowkin while the menace of the Blossom exists to give the rest of the cast something to do and introduce the new headteacher.

The Shadowkin plot thread is nicely done but suffers from the fact that I think Sophie Watson is the weakest actor in the central ensemble. In particular, I think she struggles to portray the strength that April is supposed to conceal under all her niceness and this strength was the key to this story. It also suffers from the fact that I found the Shadowkin dialogue difficult to follow.

Once again it is Tanya, the exceptionally clever child in a group of clever children who makes the intuitive leap that eliminates the threat. Even if, once again, it is a little difficult to follow the steps of the intuitive leap. It is also Tanya who opts to include the grownups, or at least Ram and April's parents in events. I strongly suspect that one of the themes we're going to see in Class is that, as you grow up, your parents become less and less able to help you. For Tonight we Might Die started the show with the Doctor, like a parent, being summoned and resolving the situation but then explicitly telling the group that they needed to resolve these things for themselves. At this point Tanya summons the adults who then prove to be rather useless, leaving Tanya to solve the problem herself and, looking forward, I suspect we are going to see Miss Quill lose her status as the adult (even a somewhat unreliable one) in the room.

It ends with a rather more deft handling of the issue of the aftermath of abuse and how one might set about balancing a desire for reconciliation with the setting of boundaries. This in contrast to Doctor Who's The Idiot's Lantern which attempted something similar but with less acknowledgment of the complexities of the situation.

All in all, another strong pair of episodes. The greater length gave the story more room for maneuver and let it attempt to tackle several interlinked events and ideas but the price was that it lacked the clarity of focus of Night-visiting and, I have to admit, if you were going to pick an actress from the core cast to carry a two-parter, I would have opted for Vivian Oparah.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/222624.html.
fififolle: Christmas Dalekfififolle on November 29th, 2016 09:14 pm (UTC)
Yes, I agree that a Tanya-centric arc would be good, hopefully we'll see that.
However, I think I enjoyed these two more than your review would think one might. At least, I found myself *having* to watch the second part straight away, as I was behind and could :) Looking back, I guess the story was a little slow, but who can resist a cliffhanger? I loved the use of the blossom as one of those everyday things that are now menacing, like wheelie bins and other Doctor Who baddies *g*
louisedennis: Classlouisedennis on November 30th, 2016 08:37 pm (UTC)
Yes, I wasn't hugely taken with this pair of episodes. I think my favourites so far have been Night-visiting and Detained.